Activision Blizzard employees say company hasn't met their demands, rejects hiring of law firm

Activision Blizzard Share
Activision Blizzard Share (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • A week after a company walkout, Activision Blizzard King employees say the company has not addressed many of their demands.
  • The alliance also rejected the company's hiring of law firm WilmerHale to run an internal review.
  • "We call on you and your executive leadership team to do better, and to fully address our list of demands," the employees wrote in a letter today.

It's been a week since hundreds of Activision Blizzard King employees participated in a walkout in response to a lawsuit filed against the company. However, according to employees, the company still hasn't addressed any of their requests.

In prepartion of the walkout, a group of employees — referred collectively as the ABK Workers Alliance and featuring employees from Activision, Beenox, Blizzard Entertainment, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Sledgehammer Games, Raven Software, and Vicarious Visions — issued four demands to leadership, including the end of forced arbitration and the call to hire a third-party company to audit the company's structure and HR department. However, in a letter sent to leadership on Tuesday, the employees said that a lot of their demands haven't been addressed, even after CEO Bobby Kotick's statement.

"In response to our demands, you wrote a letter to employees expressing a commitment to doing a better job of listening," the letter, sent to Windows Central, said. "You ignored our call for an end to mandatory arbitration. You did not commit to adopting inclusive recruitment and hiring practices. You made no comment on pay transparency."

The letter specifically calls out the hiring of law firm WilmerHale to review the company's policies. While the move had already received criticism from outlets like Kotaku because of the firm's history of participating in union busting, the employees wrote that there is also a conflict of interest. The letter notes that Activision Blizzard has already been a client of WilmerHale, that Stephanie Avakian, the partner leading the investigation, "specializes in protecting the wealthy and powerful," and that Fran Townsend, EVP of corporate affairs, has had previous relationships with members of the firm.

The employees call on leadership to continue to do better. In the meantime, the alliance said it's taking a number of steps on its own, including building a mentorship program and hosting open listening sessions.

Carli Velocci
Gaming Lead, Copy Chief

Carli is the Gaming Editor and Copy Chief across Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. Her last name also will remind you of a dinosaur. Follow her on Twitter or email her at